We all know the drill. TV will kill your child. Or their brain cells. Or their love of life. Or something. Screens in general are to be avoided in the same way as hot ovens, open fires and bottles of bleach. TV is a bad thing. We all know this, right? None of us put our kids in front of the TV because we read with them, or take them outside…right?Oh COME ON! I’m sick sick sick of all this PR parenting. We all put our kids in front of the TV and if you don’t then you’re either lying or a saint with endless patience and (probably) a penchant for valium and early morning gin. If you spend any time along with your kids and you have to at any point get anything else done, the TV (or as we call it, the third parent) is invaluable.
I don’t know about you but the last time I checked I had two arms and two hands. This means that it’s physically impossible for me to hold my gorgeously chunky Small and cook a meal. Yes, it would all be sweetness and light if she was totally cool when I said, “Hey sweet girl, I know you want to be carried right now and you want to see what’s going on up here on the counter tops, but you know what? I only have two hands and I can’t carry you and make your lunch so, would you mind awfully, sitting down and reading a book while practising your maths and reciting the alphabet? Oh, and if you could colour in the lines as well, that would be great.”
Newsflash – she isn’t totally cool with that. She just isn’t. The only thing better than hanging out with momma while I cook lunch is watching Nemo. Or Alpha and Omega. Or The Lion King. Or Peppa Pig. So that’s what we do. She may watch it for five minutes while I cook lunch. She may watch the whole damn film in the afternoon if we’re both on our knees with exhaustion sitting in a puddle of tears and piss. And you know what? If things don’t improve on the first watching, we may well watch the whole fucking thing again.
What’s the big deal? We also go to the park and read books and take trips to the zoo and the swimming pool. We go to playgroup and reading circles and rhyme times. We dance in the living room and play in the garden. We build sancastles in the sandpit and we dig holes in the ground and yes, we watch a lot of TV.
She’s not dead or miserable or stupid yet but I’ll keep you updated.
PHOTO: TV LICENSING